Dillian Whyte holds the secondary version of the WBC's heavyweight belt
10 June, 2018, 02:00
Come the announcement this morning at about 09.15 United Kingdom time - unseasonably early - we got the big fight; Dillian Whyte vs Joseph Parker, CONFIRMED, for July 28th at the O2 Arena.
Indeed, Parker is a bigger name than Pulev by virtue of his nearly 18-month reign as WBO heavyweight champion, as well as his unification fight with Anthony Joshua in which he lost his championship.
Parker was beaten by Joshua in March on a unanimous points decision in their title unification bout in Cardiff.
Whyte, who is on a run of seven successive victories with his last bout an eye-catching sixth round knockout of Australia's former WBA titleholder Lucas Browne in March, taunted Parker over what he claims is a reluctance to go toe to toe once in the ring. "I'm bang up for this", said Whyte (23-1-0), who, like Parker, has only ever lost to Joshua.
Uncertainty about the date and venue for the Pulev fight prompted Whyte to reconsider his options and Parker, fresh from a points loss to Joshua, suddenly made ideal sense.
On paper and stylistically speaking, these lines up to likely become the most exciting heavyweight fight of the year.
"One would hope that this fight leads to a world title shot". "It came out of nowhere - it's not one that we planned".
We are both young, hungry and want to win. "That pretty much speaks for itself", said Parker - the only fighter to so far take Joshua the full distance. However, the Whyte fight is a great result for Parker, who was desperate for a high-profile, credible, opponent after his disappointing 12-round defeat to Joshua.
Both should be commended for bravery as they fight for their futures, but either Whyte or Parker will be celebrating an ideal career move. First of all I never refused and I still want to fight with you!
"I like challenges and I rise to them, this is a big fight and I'll be training very hard as always".
"He'll be seen as unsafe and a lot of guys are very mouthy and derogatory towards Parker in putting him down like [Tony] Bellew, or like Dillian Whyte", Higgins told Sky Sports in April. "But, hey, if Hearn is misleading you somehow, let me tell you personally - I'm here and ready to beat your delusional ass back to reality".